Human Village, North District - 26th of More Clothes Month 09:20
Gensokyo day 2
Reimu stands frozen in shock at the sight.
Each and every talisman thrown bursts into flames as the spell border collapses around us.
With the afterglow of Spell Break still emitting from my hand, I pull off my jacket. The new hole in the back makes it kind of useless.
And just because she suddenly manipulates space. When the hell was she able to do that? Having those ofuda appear from behind is a really dirty trick.
Having recovered, the young miss flicks her hand and a few long needles appear in between her fingers.
I hold up my hand in front of me, forming the most basic gesture used in spell crafting. My spiritual energy starts circulating, fueling every part of my body with fresh energy.
“Damn creepy eyes.” She mutters before darting at me.
“Kabe!” I yell as I swing my hand sideways, drawing a line through the air.
A wall of pure energy rises in front of me, blocking her path.
She jumps, easily clearing the barrier. Still in the air, she throws her needles.
“Shit.” I raise my arm, letting all six projectiles pierce it.
Right about now I miss my left arm. Getting these needles out would really be nice.
I take a step forward and bring my leg upwards into a high kick. It scores a deep stomach blow as she descends, sending her back into the air.
She stays in the air, clutching her stomach.
I take the opportunity to bite into a needle and pull it out.
A few projectiles hitting the ground around me quickly direct my attention back to the floating girl.
She throws another set which stops in midair. Aligned with the previous set, it creates a barrier, blocking me in.
With the barrier active she boxes herself in, in another smaller barrier and- Oh fuck no. The same trick isn’t going to work on me twice.
I ignite my spiritual energy, creating an aura around me. At the same time, Reimu starts shooting out talismans in all directions.
As they reach the walls of her barrier, they disappear only to reappear inside my barrier.
When they hit me earlier, I learned what they target and how much power they have. So if I simply turn up the volume of my power output, these should be destroyed no problem.
And just as predicted, the ofuda bursts aflame as they enter my range.
The barrage quickly ceases when she realizes how futile it is.
“And apparently this is now happening.” She says, brushing some hair out of the way. “Could this day get any worse?”
“Having a bad day?” I ask. “Then let me tell you something useful. You can only use your attacks on me once, before they become useless.”
“That’s supposed to cheer me up?” She asks.
“That’s a vital piece of information if you plan on defeating me.” I answer.
She responds with a grunt. She looks around for a moment before dashing off behind a building. Less than a moment later her spiritual energy vanishes.
What’s she up- Behind!
I spin, directing her incoming foot past me.
She quickly regains footing and escape out of my field of view. Her spiritual energy disappears immediatly afterwards.
This time she comes at me from the side. I throw my arm at her.
She ducks and circles around, out of my view once more.
Her energy disappeared again along with her.
I spin around just as she reappears midair, coming at me hands clenched tightly.
I quickly cover my face, bracing my entire body for her punch.
Her energy disappears before she hits me. No, wait, she’s below.
With a distinct glow surrounding her hand, she executes a near perfect punch. Her hand moves from her shoulder towards my guts in a straight line. Her feet, knees, hips, spine, shoulder, wrist, everything rotating ever so slightly allowing her to put all her weight into this attack.
A muffled crunch echoes throughout me as her fist connects.
But she didn’t hit any bones.
I move my arm, allowing for a better view of her. She stands frozen. Her outstretched arm trembles slightly. Her eyes are locked on the point where she connected despite the water building up in them.
“Reimu,” I ask for her attention, “You okay?”
“I’m fine.” She states.
“Does it hurt?” I ask.
“Doesn’t hurt.” She mumbles.
“Need a break?” I ask.
She wait a second before responding, but she ends up nodding.
Slowly pulling her hand back, she gently caress her knuckles.
“If you’re too hurt to go on, just say so.” I tell her. “It’s no fun if you- Guhh!” Without warning, she sends me flying.
I find myself looking up at a very confused young man.
I quickly pick myself back up from the remains of what used to be a stall.
A quick look around reveals that I’ve end up at the main street. So it was this close?
I crack my neck. “You should probably get out of here.” I tell the guy. “Reimu is not happy, and she’s coming this way.”
As if to prove my point, the shrine maiden walks out from the alley she knocked me out from, adjusting her sleeve with one hand and carrying new charms in the other.
It doesn’t look like my new friend needs more convincing as he and his fellows start running leaving me alone with the brunette once more. Only this time we have a bigger playground.
“Damn you’re sturdy,” She sighs “and it’s really starting to annoy me.”
“Really?” I ask. “Because you get more and more interesting with each trick you pull out.” I rotate my shoulder into a crack. “I mean I’m a heavy fucking giant. Throwing me several meters isn’t an easy feat.”
“I know.” She states.
“What, no explaining on how you did it?” I ask. She answers with complete silence. “Very well, guess I render your attacks useless.” I bluff.
Her brow twitches at my word. She pulls out another card and declares her spell.
Oh fucking hell!
Did I push her too far?
She darts straight at me.
I instinctively draw a line, creating a barrier between her and I.
She phases right through it.
As she closes the remaining distance she closes her eyes.
A handful of orbs appear from underneath her clothes, each shining in a color of its own.
The orbs start spinning at a speed where even my eyes can’t keep up, leaving only a blurred circle to be seen.
In no time flat, I find myself surrounded by bullets.
No where to move.
No where to escape.
All I can do is play the turtle, and with my shell that shouldn't be a problem.
I curl myself up the best I can and take each hit as they come.
I feel my body slowly going numb as each bullet pierces my defense. Each sting growing worse than the previous.
But I keep persisting through. Vitality is my single greatest attribute, rivaled only by my endurance. I can’t lose to something on this level.
It’s only a matter of time before the bullets starts thinning out. The orbs slow down, and Reimu slowly exits her translucent state.
Without hesitation, I jab her square in the face, breaking her concentration and the spell.
Not letting up, I continue by jabbing her right below the ribs, forcing her to bend over slightly before following up with and uppercut.
Finally having knocked her down, I jump back to take a breather and measure the damage she did-
I can feel the limit of my spiritual energy.
I can actually feel the limit of my spiritual energy. That’s- Not since the time it expanded have I felt the limit.
Her spell, it attacks the spirit rather than the body?
I see. In that case I just have to use a different form of defense.
I’ve dealt with that kind of enemy before, but I gotta say, this is different.
“I have to say, Reimu, you are everything I expected and more.” Strong opponents, that’s what keeps fighting so fun and interesting.
“God dammit.” She pound the ground before picking herself back up. “God dammit.” She curses again as she lays eyes one me. “And would you stop smirking already? It’s pissing me off.”
“Heh, sorry.” I wave off her comment. “It’s just that fighting you is so much fun.”
She grits her teeth.
Her gaze quickly shifts to the side for a second before returning to me.
I’m about to look myself, but the shrine maidens sudden movement keeps my attention on her.
With a single leap she closes the distance between us.
“Divine Arts,” she pulls out yet another spell card, “Omnidirectional Demon Binding Circle.”
The card flashes for a second before disappearing.
A glowing circle appears beneath our feet before walls shoot out from the ground, trapping us.
As I look back, Reimu has disappeared back outside the barrier, waving towards the sky.
I follow her gaze to the witch hanging over the hole at the top of the barrier.
“Love Sign,” She declares.
“Master,” She moves her hands back.
“No no no.”
“Spark!” She yells out as she fires her attack.
“No no no no no.” Is all I can muster as the beam of imminent pain approaches.
A deafening sound and blinding light engulf me as my mind goes numb from the pain.
The rapidly rising temperature of my skin indicates that my sense of touch is returning to me.
And my fucking god does it sting. It feels like I got a sunburn all over my body, just like that time I fainted during midsummer training.
I just shake my head, forcing the pain back.
My mind goes blank as the beam strikes me once more.
“Would you stop that?” I scream out as soon as the attack subsides.
Before I even finish the question, the next beam is on it’s way down already.
The barrier surrounding me shatters, meeting it’s limit as the latest attack dies down.
“Stop it!” I swing my arm- and oh fuck it hurts to move. “You’ve already given me first degree burns. Are you trying to give me second degree as well?”
“Just who the hell are you?” The shrine maiden has grown visibly confused at this point.
“Wait, you didn’t already know that?” I ask her. The question only seems to add to her confusion. “Reimu, I’m your counterpart. I’m a priest at the Hakurei Shrine in the outside world.”
“No way. No way.” She raises her voice at the last one. “That’s impossible. There’s no way you’re a human. There’s no way you’re a Hakurei.”
“As little as I want to admit it, I’m human.” I tell her. “Or at the very least I can’t surpass the human limit.” I want to shrug it off, but my skin is killing me. It hurts to even speak. “But trust me, Reimu, when I say I’m only a human.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t have any reason to trust -”
“Junya Ota.” Just as I mention his name, Reimu reach for my collar and pulls me down to her level with surprising strength.
“How?” Is all she asks.
“He’s my mentor.” I state matter-of-factly. “He’s the one who taught me about Gensokyo, about the Hakurei Barrier, and about my role in relation to those.”
She lets go of me, allowing me to stand back up. “That’s- But-”
“If you still don’t believe me, then lady Akyuu would be able to confirm it.” I tell her. Mentor went to Gensokyo a lot, and judging from Akyuu, the two of them have spoken quite a bit. At least that’s the impression I got from her when we talked yesterday.
With one hand covering her mouth and eyes dart all over the place, Reimu thoroughly thinks this through. “Then, if that’s true,” she starts, looking back up at me, “are you then saying I’m not the last Hakurei? That there still are some on the other side of the barrier?”
Her expression, it’s, I don’t know, soft? When she fought, her expression was sharp, keen, stern even. Now, it’s soft. Not friendly or sad nod welcoming. It’s just soft. Combined with the lack of her fierce aura, it feels like she’s a different person.
“I’m afraid not.” I tell her. “There’s only me, and even I am not a Hakurei, despite how much I might wish otherwise.”
“Reimu. What the hell is going on.” A voice from behind calls out.
Seriously? That’s the second time it’s happened today. I’d be tempted to believe it’s a custom here in Gensokyo, if we hadn’t just stirred up quite the trouble.
This time it’s a woman. If her matching blue dress and hair wasn’t a dead giveaway about who she is, then that object she chooses to use as a hat most definitely will. Kamishirasawa Keine, a were hakutaku working as both the guardian and a teacher of the Human Village. She’d be a little more threatening if ‘hakutaku’ didn’t sound so cute, but that comes from a guy with a girl’s name, so I’m not one to judge.
“I’m sorry, Reimu,” the witch runs up behind her, “But I couldn’t hold her back any longer.”
“I’m sorry, Miss,” I answer instead her, “But there was a misunderstanding between us which escalated quite a bit.” I glance over at Reimu. As she notices my stare, she switches to look at the teacher instead.
“You can say that again.” She places her hands on her hip. “So, do you know how much damage you’ve caused?”
“A wooden stand and about three cubic meters worth of snow.” I tell her. Most of that snow was from the witch’s laser.
“We may be trigger happy, but we are not irresponsible, you know.” Reimu joins in.
“Are you saying that before or after taking the fact you just had a fight without a spell border in the middle of the village, into account?” She asks. Before either of us gets the chance to reply, she sighs and continues. “Look, if you’re sure that’s all you damaged, then compensate it and try not to let it happen again.”
“Yeah, compensate her, big guy.” The shrine maiden urges me on.
“You were the one who threw me into the stand.” I point out. “Besides, I kinda lost my bag back there, if you didn’t notice.”
“You mean that strange container you threw?” The witch butts in. “I brought it in case we needed to check it for suspicious content, but looks like that won’t be necessary.” Strange container? It’s just a duffel bag. There’s nothing strange about those.
I fish out a small pouch and hand the teacher five yen.
She looks at the money, then back at me.
“Not enough?” I ask.
“No, it’s too much, actually.”
“Then keep the rest as an apology for the trouble caused.” I tell her with a well practiced smile.
“Well, if we’re done here,” the witch speaks up, “then I think I’ll get back to my experiment. I’ll catch you later Reimu.” She takes a running start before getting on her broom.
“And you,” Reimu then directs the attention to me, “We have a lot to talk about.” She takes me by the wrist and starts dragging with haste.
“Eh? But-” the teacher tries to protest, but Reimu drags me away too quickly for her to to react to what happened.
Path to the Hakurei Shrine - 10:04
Reimu stops before the entrance to a small forested area. She turns around facing me with the same sharp look she had back in the village.
“We shouldn’t get interrupted here.” She informs me. “I still don’t trust you, just so we’re clear on that. But say I believe your claim to be working for the Hakurei clan. That still leaves a few questions, like how the hell are you able to take that much damage and still stand? And if you’re from the outside then what are you doing in here? But most importantly, where did you get all that money?”
“Really, that’s your first question? Money?” I had hoped for something a little more exciting. “I don’t know the exact numbers, however, the value of a single yen in the outside is worth around point two percentage of what it’s worth here in Gensokyo. For example, what’s the price for a a cabbage head?” I ask her.
“You can get one for 3 sen I think, might be a bit more expensive.” She answers, visibly curious about where I’m going with this.
“And 30 sen is point zero three yen, right?” She nods. “One cabbage head in the outside world costs around 130 yen.”
She opens her mouth, about to say something but stops, thinking it over once more. “Why is it worth so little?” Is what she finally asks.
“Couldn’t tell you.” I tell her flatly. “The history of economics isn’t something I expect to ever put to use, so I never bothered learning about it.”
“Right,” she breaks eye contact, “just wanted to make sure you didn’t steal that from anywhere.” She clears her throat and recomposes herself. “So, what exactly are you doing here?” She asks.
“My mentor had some urgent business, so I was sent here in his stead to deliver a package to the Child of Are.” I tell her. It’s really that simple. “It appeared to be a letter, but what was written in it, I don’t know.” I answer her question before she gets to ask it.
“I see.” She cross her arms. “And now for the big question. How can you take three of Marisa’s Master Sparks, still stand and then call your self human? I mean taking my Fantasy Nature or her Master Spark once isn’t that bad, but still.”
“Is it really that hard to believe?” I ask her.
“You have more spiritual energy than the vast majority of youkai. In fact, I can count the number of youkai that can match your amount, on one hand. For a human, that’s not normal.” She reasons. “Don’t get me started on your endurance again. And finally there’s your eyes.” She lists, adding a finger with each statement.
“Okay, my eyes, they’re easy to explain. You see, back outside, yellow isn’t a natural eye color. Given my easily recognizable appearance, having unnatural eyes would just draw too much unwanted attention. So we enchanted them to be blue. The enchantment, however, is broken whenever I use magic. After a few minutes it kicks back in again, however.”
“Uhuh?” She raise an eyebrow. “I was going to refer to the slit pupil thing, but thanks for the story.”
Slit pupil? Last I checked they were perfectly normal, with and without enchantment. Not that I specifically look for it, but I think it’d be hard to miss, even with just a casual look in the mirror.
“What are you talking about?” I ask.
“Your right eye.” She says, pointing to her left, mirroring it for me. “During the fight it was slit. We have a myriad of eye colors here, even amongst humans, so I’m not concerned about that.”
“Wait, it was?” I hold my fingers against the eye. “I honestly don’t know anything about that. I’ll have to have Doc check it out for me. But I swear Reimu,” I quickly go back to topic, “that has never happened before.”
She eyes me with suspicion but urges me to continue on regardless.
“Regarding my spiritual energy, well,” I pause for a moment, thinking through how I want to go about it. “I had this ‘incident’ a few years back, rather not talk about it.” I explain. “During this incident I was almost killed by having my life drained. As a form for improvised self defense mechanism, my body started to produce energy in an abundance to protect my life. If not for that I’d have died. Afterwards, however, it didn’t stop. Even after the danger was over, I kept producing more and more energy, which forced my capacity to expand.” I explain. There’s more to it, but that just about sums it all up.
“And I’m supposed to feel sorry?” She asks, crossing her arms.
“No.” I answer. “You asked, I answered. Besides, I came out on top, stronger than ever. I don’t see what you can feel sorry about.”
“Right. And the last question.”
“I’m resistant to magic.” I state matter of factually. “Don’t bother asking, because your guess is a good as mine. I have no idea why, but I am.” Though I believe Doc knows why. At the very least he knows how to bypass it when healing me. “Other than that, it’s just a matter of endurance, an aspect which I pride myself on.” I add the last part with a smirk.
After a few moments of silence she speaks up. “Okay, I got it.”
“So you believe me?” I ask.
“No.” As deadpan as it gets. “I don’t trust you, but I feel like I can’t brush off what you’re saying. That’s why,” She points up at me, “you’re going to stay at the shrine where I can keep an eye on you.”
“Not giving me a choice?”
“Not giving you a choice.”
I sigh. If that’s what it takes to convince her, then fine. I’ve done what I came here to do. I just have to wait out the remaining time.
Hakurei Shrine - 10:47
”- And that’s where you’ll sleep.” She spins around. “That’s the essentials of the shrine. Any questions?”
“No,” I shake my head, “the layout is pretty much the same as my shrine. I should be able to get around on my own.”
She nods off to take care of her own business.
I withdraw to my new room to rest and recover. I may have won the battle, but I also suffered the most wounds. But that’s the price for using a defensive style.
The room is simple, if not barren. Towards the back there’s a small table with a pillow as a seat. The corner is occupied by a thin full body mirror. The closet has a single futon.
All of it is covered by a fine layer of dust, revealing it's lack of usage.
I throw my bag over in the corner next to the mirror and take a seat in the middle of the room.
Without Doc around, I have to rely on my own body to heal. Preserving as much energy as I can is a priority for the time being. I also need to replace the vast amount of spirit Reimu destroyed.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath.
I feel my surroundings disappear as I slowly draw into myself, shutting the outside world off entirely.
Unknown - ??:??
 A bright yet chilling light calling out to me without a sound
 A cordial feeling darkness trembling with an unheard noise
And to avoid a pointlessly small update, what will you be doing tomorrow?
 First thing on the day is morning workout. This body don’t maintain itself
 Reimu doesn’t seem to do much excess cleaning. I should probably help her out
 The walkway out in front of the shrine was entirely covered in snow. Let’s fix it
 Breakfast. In terms of taste, I suck, but I balance the nutritions excellent
 The roof probably has seen worse days, but fixing it up before the snow starts melting could never hurt.
 It's going to take most, if not all of the day, but I could probably fix up the whole shrine.
Hopefully it fulfills your criteria for 'good'. I could nitpick at this update, but I'm quite happy with it myself.